In order to increase domestic production, the Center plans to establish 10 “Clean Plant Centres” as the demand for fruits like apple, avocado and blueberry has increased over time. These centres will be set up under the ‘Aatmanirbhar Clean Plant Program’, which was announced by the Finance Minister in the Union Budget 2023-24.



  • The concept of Clean Plant Centres is unique in itself and does not exist in India.
  • The 10 centres will be established for fruit crops like apple, walnut, almond, grapes, mango, pomegranate, etc., and will be fully funded by the Centre.
  • The centres will be implemented in a PPP mode in partnership with research organisations, agriculture universities and private sector partners.
  • The Clean Plant Centres will provide services of disease diagnostic, therapeutics, multiplying of plants and generation of mother plants.
  • The demand for imported planting material of various fruit plants has risen sharply over the years (for example, from 21.44 lakh apple plants in 2018 to 49.57 lakh imported in 2020).
  • The process of importing plants is very cumbersome, as the imported plants must be kept in quarantine for two years.
  • After the establishment of the Clean Plant Centres, this period will be reduced to six months.


What is the Aatmanirbhar Clean Plant Program?

  • The Program will be launched with an outlay of 2,200 crores (in the next 7 years till 2030) to boost availability of disease-free, quality planting material for high value horticultural crops.
  • The Program will aim to —
      • Enhance the yield of horticulture crops,
      • Disseminate and adopt climate resilient varieties,
      • Protect the ecosystem through proactive virus and disease control measures.
  • The programme will be anchored by the National Horticulture Board (NHB) which in turn will set up Clean Plant Centres across the country and ensure the global competitiveness of the Indian horticulture sector.
  • The centres will work with the stakeholders so that they adopt clean plant seeds and nurseries.


What is the need for the Aatmanirbhar Clean Plant Program?

  • To adopt best practices – Many advanced countries like the U.S., Netherlands, and Israel run clean plant programmes
  • India is a top producer of many fruits like banana, mango, pomegranate and papaya, yet its contribution in exports is not up to the mark, sometimes owing to poor quality of the produce.
      • For example, India’s share in global banana production is 27%, but the share in exports is around 1% only.
  • Boost horticulture and exports — The area under horticulture in India has increased from 23.4 to 27.5 million hectares (in the last 7 years), while the production has increased from 280.9 to 333.25 MT (18.63%).